Food & Wine

3-Day Program Modules - Minimum 10 participants

Campania

Food & Wines of Campania-Romantic Amalfi Coast & Ancient Pompeii

The Foods and Wines of Campania, the Romantic Amalfi Coast and Ancient Pompeii ...Rediscover the authentic flavors of Mediterranean cuisine in an area outside the ruins of ancient Pompeii, a Roman city that has rested beneath the ashes of Mount Vesuvius since 79 A.D.

More recently, the Neapolitan area has reflected a cuisine based on essentials such as pasta, peppers, eggplant, olive oil and tomatoes. As a matter of fact, it was the Neapolitans who first introduced pizza to the world using most of these ingredients.

The area is well known for its fresh mozzarella di bufula cheese (hailing from Sorrento), its fresh seafood (fished every day), its exquisite pastries and its outstanding limoncello liqueur made from the peels of the Campania region's incredibly fragrant lemons.

While in Campania and tasting its extraordinary cuisine, reflect on the region's ancient Roman origins and their longtime relationship between man and nature (aequalitas naturae). This especially holds true as you visit fabulous vineyards producing limpid straw-yellow colored white wines like Coda di Volpe, Fiano di Avelino, Greco di Tufo, Lacryma Cristi and Taurasi.

Piemonte, a Tradition of Fine Cuisine

Piemonte, A tradition of Fine Cuisine ...From the starters to the dessert, Piemonte's cuisine is known for its exquisite flavors and ancient recipes. Each province offers an array of specialties created with local produce that reflects the fruits of this fertile land.

Pasta, in all its many shapes and sizes is the real protagonist in most menus while agnolotti are usually served for special occasions. Rice is also a fundamental ingredient, but by far, the truffle is the star of this region's cuisine.

Taste some of Piemonte's most representative dishes including bagna caoda and fritto misto while at the same time savoring some of the area's most outstanding cheeses, the most well known being gorgonzola. Gourmet meals in Piemonte are not complete without its award-winning wines, carefully selected to accompany each dish.

The list of Piemonte's specialties is endless from grissini bread sticks to amaretti cookies and on to the famed gianduiotti chocolates made with the region's grand production of hazelnuts.

This eon-gastronomic experience includes gourmet meals, winery tour and visits to the various producers of these fine products.

Sicily

Sicily, the Land of Figs and Olive Trees

Sicily, the Land of Figs and Olive Trees ...The name Sicily is a combination of Greek words, "syke" and "elaia" meaning figs and olive trees, given to this fertile island by one of its early inhabitants.

Sicilian cuisine has perhaps the longest history of any Italian regional cuisine. It was mentioned in Plato's "Gorgia" where Socrates quotes Mithalcos, the author of the treaties on Sicilian cooking.

The events of Sicily's historic past and the many civilizations that have occupied its land have all played a part in shaping its cuisine and its traditions. From the Greeks and the Romans to the Arabs and the Normans, the Anjous and the Argons and the Spanish and English, all have left their mark on Sicily.

Experience first hand Sicily's gastronomic traditions as you savor specialties such as spaghetti alla Norma made with tomato, eggplant, basil and salty ricotta cheese or eggplant parmigiana. Other famous Sicilian dishes are caponata, a bittersweet salad made with celery, eggplant, tomato sauce and capers and falso-magro made with beef, hard-boiled eggs and ground beef rolled up and cooked in red wine and tomato.

Sicily is famous throughout the world for its sorbetti (from the Arab work "sciarbet"), its ice creams and its sweets and an experience in Sicily is not complete without trying the regions' fabulous almond pastries, its torrone or its pasta reale.

The Wines and Cheeses of Piemonte

The Wines and Cheeses of Piemonte ...There are many cheeses in Piemonte and they play such an important role that practically every area has its own cheese. Usually a variety of toma, the list includes favorites such as gorgonzola (a mature green and blue-veined cheese), castelmagno (produced in the town of the same name with milk solely from the Val Grana), rabiola di Roccaverano (a soft, mild handmade cheese in a distinct cylindrical shape), battelmatt (a slightly bitter cheese), murazzano (a slightly aromatic cheese) and bra (a soft cheese from the area of Cuneo).

With an expert, learn to taste these fabulous cheeses and then with the help of a professional sommelier, match them to an extensive variety of Piemonte's fine wines; robust and elegant red wines and full aromatic white and dessert wines.

Piemonte's noble reds include Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Ghemme, Carema, Freisa, Grignolino and Bramaterra while the whites include Erbaluce, Roero Arneis, Gavi and Cortese. Dessert wines include Asti Spumante, Brachetto, Mascato d'Asti, Malvasia and Caluso Passito.

Piemonte

The Noble Wines of Piemonte

wine.jpgThe Noble Wines of Piemonte ...It is difficult to find the words to describe the poetry of Piemonte where imagination runs between the hills and the towns and where the vine is affectionate and dutiful. One only needs to be present during the period of the vendemmia (grape harvest) in September with the Moscato and Dolcetto grapes that continues through October with the Nebbiolo grapes to become mesmerized by a magic where the fatigue of intense labor transforms into a heightened emotion.

Producers such as Angelo Gaja, a true wine nobleman, famous throughout the world for his Barolo and Barbaresco wines refuses to settle for the top awards in the category of Piemonte reds, but pushes on to produce extraordinary whites.

With the guidance of a professional sommelier, discover the aristocratic wines of the region while visiting wineries that dot the magnificent Piemonte countryside covered with vineyards, hazelnut trees and pastures. Visits and wine tasting is scheduled at the Regional Enoteca of Piemonte housed in the castle of Count Camillo Benso di Cavour and at the Regional Enotecas of Barbaresco and Barolo.

The Wines and Cheeses of Piemonte

pecorino.jpgThe Wines and Cheeses of Piemonte ...There are many cheeses in Piemonte and they play such an important role that practically every area has its own cheese. Usually a variety of toma, the list includes favorites such as gorgonzola (a mature green and blue-veined cheese), castelmagno (produced in the town of the same name with milk solely from the Val Grana), rabiola di Roccaverano (a soft, mild handmade cheese in a distinct cylindrical shape), battelmatt (a slightly bitter cheese), murazzano (a slightly aromatic cheese) and bra (a soft cheese from the area of Cuneo).

With an expert, learn to taste these fabulous cheeses and then with the help of a professional sommelier, match them to an extensive variety of Piemonte's fine wines; robust and elegant red wines and full aromatic white and dessert wines.

Piemonte's noble reds include Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Ghemme, Carema, Freisa, Grignolino and Bramaterra while the whites include Erbaluce, Roero Arneis, Gavi and Cortese. Dessert wines include Asti Spumante, Brachetto, Mascato d'Asti, Malvasia and Caluso Passito.

Piemonte, a Tradition of Fine Cuisine

truffle.jpgPiemonte, A tradition of Fine Cuisine ...From the starters to the dessert, Piemonte's cuisine is known for its exquisite flavors and ancient recipes. Each province offers an array of specialties created with local produce that reflects the fruits of this fertile land.

Pasta, in all its many shapes and sizes is the real protagonist in most menus while agnolotti are usually served for special occasions. Rice is also a fundamental ingredient, but by far, the truffle is the star of this region's cuisine.

Taste some of Piemonte's most representative dishes including bagna caoda and fritto misto while at the same time savoring some of the area's most outstanding cheeses, the most well known being gorgonzola. Gourmet meals in Piemonte are not complete without its award-winning wines, carefully selected to accompany each dish.

The list of Piemonte's specialties is endless from grissini bread sticks to amaretti cookies and on to the famed gianduiotti chocolates made with the region's grand production of hazelnuts.

This eon-gastronomic experience includes gourmet meals, winery tour and visits to the various producers of these fine products.

Umbria

Wines and Olive Oils of Umbria and So. Tuscany

The Chianti & Chianti Classico Wines of Tuscany ...It is the ancient Etruscans who are credited with bringing vines to Central Italy. However, is only recently that Tuscany has gained the reputation worldwide for its quality wines. The "Renaissance" of enological Tuscany began with a renewal of the Chianti tradition that gave way to other reds such as Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

With the guidance of a professional Tuscan sommelier, learn to appreciate and differentiate between the various Chianti wines produced in the districts that lie between Florence and Siena. Chianti Classico DOCG production codes permit a ratio of 75% to 100% Sangiovese grapes that can be mixed with red Canaiolo and white Malvasia and Trebbiano, thus allowing for a variation in taste, structure and gustatory properties of each Chianti wine.

Knowledge is enhanced with in-depth visits to several wineries in the scenic wine region of the Gallo Nero Consortium. Tasting's are scheduled at the wineries of Castello II Palagio, Castello di Verrazzano, Castello di Volpaia, Castello di Brolio and more.

Wines and Olive Oils of Umbria and Southern Tuscany ... In Umbria and Tuscany, a cuisine without olive oil is like a house with no foundation and no expression of culinary excellence lacks this liquid gold. Climate and sunshine, does, however, determine the quality of both grapes and olive oil, allowing slow maturation with optimal results.

With the expert guidance of regional sommeliers and maestri oleari (master oliviers), learn the history of wine making and olive oil production which in both regions, dates back to the time of the Etruscans. Learn to evaluate olive oil for its quality and defects by using gustatory methods prescribed by professionals as well as the terminology used to describe the taste and smell of each oil.

Without a doubt, Tuscany is considered one of the major producers of quality Italian wines such as Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti and Chianti Classico, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Carmignano and the so-called "Super Tuscans". However, few know of Umbria's hidden secret in the hills of Montefalco, hearty Sangrantino di Montefalco DOCG. Among other renowned Umbrian wines are Orvieto Classico DOC and Rosso di Torgiano Riserva DOCG. Learn to distinguish the attributes and characteristics of these wines and pair them with typical Tuscan and Umbrian dishes.

Winery and olive press visits are planned in both Tuscany and Umbria with a stop in Torgiano to view Lungarotti's outstanding wine and oil museum.

Fruili

Wines of Veneto & Fruili Venezia-Giulia

grapes-1.jpgThe Wines of Veneto and Fruili Venezia-Giulia ...Veneto, Italy's third largest producer of wine, is known for two labels that have long been leaders in the marketplace, Soave and Valpolicella. Recently, Amarone, an opulent red wine made from partially dried varieties that produce Valpolicella, has gained recognition for its strength and aroma which maintains well during the aging process.

With the expertise of a professional sommelier, discover the wine district that lies between Verona and Lake Garda and learn to match these wines with typical Veronese dishes. Then, evaluate wines produced in the province of Vicenza including Gambellara, Garganego, Recioto and Vino Santo.

While in the Veneto, enjoy a scenic drive to Valdobbiadene, a town surrounded by steep hillsides covered with beautiful vineyards. The town is a major center for the production of Prosecco and the prized Cartizze made from carefully selected Prosecco grapes that are grown in only two square miles of terrain in this area.

Directly to Veneto's east lies Fruili Venezia-Giulia where the prestigious Collio area is reminiscent of California's Napa Valley. Among white wines, production is steadily increasing with Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc enjoying the greatest popularity as well as the native Tocai and Ribolla of Fruili. The region's wonderful Cabernets and Merlots are leaders and rarely require exposure to wood. The culture of dessert wines is exceptional and perhaps during one of the scheduled tasting and winery visits, you might just come across Fruili's Piccolti, the rarest and perhaps the most appealing and subtle of desert wines.

Coffee, the Great Venetian Discovery

coffee.jpgCoffee, the Great Venetian Discovery ..."II caffe, per essere buono, deve essere nero come la notte, caldo come I'inferno e dolce come I'amore" (To be good, coffee must be black as night, as hot as Hades and as sweet as love), said Bakunin in his "Vita di Una Rivoluzionario".

Coffee originally came from Ethiopia but can be considered Arabian and brought to Europe by Venetian traders in the 17th century. Then, coffee was a luxury for strictly noble palates. Considered a means to heighten and stimulate the senses, historical coffee houses became popular meeting places among poets, writers, arts and politicians. In Italy, the drinking of coffee has almost become ritualistic while the Italian espresso has become famous around the world.

From the experts, learn the secrets about roasting, blending, grinding and brewing and visit several roasting plants, one of which is still owned by the Venetian nobility. Coffee culture includes terminology such as cappuccino, espresso, caffe' latte, caffe' macchiato, caffe' lungo, caffe' coretto, and caffe' ristretto. Excursions are planed to numerous coffee houses including the Caffe' Florian in Venice, Europe's oldest coffee house and Caffe' Pedrocchi in Padua which first opened in 1848.

Tuscany

Chianti and Chianti Classico Wines of Tuscany

The Chianti & Chianti Classico Wines of Tuscany ...It is the ancient Etruscans who are credited with bringing vines to Central Italy. However, is only recently that Tuscany has gained the reputation worldwide for its quality wines. The "Renaissance" of enological Tuscany began with a renewal of the Chianti tradition that gave way to other reds such as Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

With the guidance of a professional Tuscan sommelier, learn to appreciate and differentiate between the various Chianti wines produced in the districts that lie between Florence and Siena. Chianti Classico DOCG production codes permit a ratio of 75% to 100% Sangiovese grapes that can be mixed with red Canaiolo and white Malvasia and Trebbiano, thus allowing for a variation in taste, structure and gustatory properties of each Chianti wine.

Knowledge is enhanced with in-depth visits to several wineries in the scenic wine region of the Gallo Nero Consortium. Tasting's are scheduled at the wineries of Castello II Palagio, Castello di Verrazzano, Castello di Volpaia, Castello di Brolio and more.

Wines and Olive Oils of Umbria and Southern Tuscany ... In Umbria and Tuscany, a cuisine without olive oil is like a house with no foundation and no expression of culinary excellence lacks this liquid gold. Climate and sunshine, does, however, determine the quality of both grapes and olive oil, allowing slow maturation with optimal results.

With the expert guidance of regional sommeliers and maestri oleari (master oliviers), learn the history of wine making and olive oil production which in both regions, dates back to the time of the Etruscans. Learn to evaluate olive oil for its quality and defects by using gustatory methods prescribed by professionals as well as the terminology used to describe the taste and smell of each oil.

Without a doubt, Tuscany is considered one of the major producers of quality Italian wines such as Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti and Chianti Classico, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Carmignano and the so-called "Super Tuscans". However, few know of Umbria's hidden secret in the hills of Montefalco, hearty Sangrantino di Montefalco DOCG. Among other renowned Umbrian wines are Orvieto Classico DOC and Rosso di Torgiano Riserva DOCG. Learn to distinguish the attributes and characteristics of these wines and pair them with typical Tuscan and Umbrian dishes.

Winery and olive press visits are planned in both Tuscany and Umbria with a stop in Torgiano to view Lungarotti's outstanding wine and oil museum.

Wines and Olive Oils of Tuscany

The Wines and Olive Oils of Tuscany ...Tuscany is a series of hillsides and towns where the art of viticulture and wine-making reaches its pinnacle and where the tastes and flavors of good wine blend completely with the history and culture of an entire area.

Today's "Super Tuscans", now setting the pace in the marketplace, are proprietary wines produced almost exclusively from the grapes of a single vineyard. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes are used alone or blending in various proportions with Sangiovese grapes in making the Tuscan giants. Quality wines such as Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti and Chianti Classico, Vemaccia di San Gimignano and Carmignano are highly sought after among real connoisseurs.

Along with the vine, the olive is an important part of Tuscan agriculture. Hand-picked fruit is bruised and cold-pressed to yield a product with unique chemical, physical and sensory characteristics. Italy's greatest poet, Dante Alighieri, described oil as the "liqueur of the olive" to underline its extraordinary fragrance and flavor.

With the expert guidance of regional sommeliers and maestri oleari (master oliviers), learn to appreciate, taste and understand the cultural implications of fine wine and oils. Winery visits and olive oil productions excursions are planned for Chianti, Montepulciano, Montalcino and Chianti.

Venice

Wines of Veneto & Fruili Venezia-Giulia

grapes-1.jpgThe Wines of Veneto and Fruili Venezia-Giulia ...Veneto, Italy's third largest producer of wine, is known for two labels that have long been leaders in the marketplace, Soave and Valpolicella. Recently, Amarone, an opulent red wine made from partially dried varieties that produce Valpolicella, has gained recognition for its strength and aroma which maintains well during the aging process.

With the expertise of a professional sommelier, discover the wine district that lies between Verona and Lake Garda and learn to match these wines with typical Veronese dishes. Then, evaluate wines produced in the province of Vicenza including Gambellara, Garganego, Recioto and Vino Santo.

While in the Veneto, enjoy a scenic drive to Valdobbiadene, a town surrounded by steep hillsides covered with beautiful vineyards. The town is a major center for the production of Prosecco and the prized Cartizze made from carefully selected Prosecco grapes that are grown in only two square miles of terrain in this area.

Directly to Veneto's east lies Fruili Venezia-Giulia where the prestigious Collio area is reminiscent of California's Napa Valley. Among white wines, production is steadily increasing with Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc enjoying the greatest popularity as well as the native Tocai and Ribolla of Fruili. The region's wonderful Cabernets and Merlots are leaders and rarely require exposure to wood. The culture of dessert wines is exceptional and perhaps during one of the scheduled tasting and winery visits, you might just come across Fruili's Piccolti, the rarest and perhaps the most appealing and subtle of desert wines.

Coffee, the Great Venetian Discovery

coffee.jpgCoffee, the Great Venetian Discovery ..."II caffe, per essere buono, deve essere nero come la notte, caldo come I'inferno e dolce come I'amore" (To be good, coffee must be black as night, as hot as Hades and as sweet as love), said Bakunin in his "Vita di Una Rivoluzionario".

Coffee originally came from Ethiopia but can be considered Arabian and brought to Europe by Venetian traders in the 17th century. Then, coffee was a luxury for strictly noble palates. Considered a means to heighten and stimulate the senses, historical coffee houses became popular meeting places among poets, writers, arts and politicians. In Italy, the drinking of coffee has almost become ritualistic while the Italian espresso has become famous around the world.

From the experts, learn the secrets about roasting, blending, grinding and brewing and visit several roasting plants, one of which is still owned by the Venetian nobility. Coffee culture includes terminology such as cappuccino, espresso, caffe' latte, caffe' macchiato, caffe' lungo, caffe' coretto, and caffe' ristretto. Excursions are planed to numerous coffee houses including the Caffe' Florian in Venice, Europe's oldest coffee house and Caffe' Pedrocchi in Padua which first opened in 1848.